Why not develop music in
ways unknown? This only makes sense. I cannot understand the difference between
my notes on paper and other notes on paper. If beauty is present, it is
present. I hope I can continue to create notes and that these notes will have
beauty for some others. I am not sad. I am not happy. I am Emily. You are
Dave. Life and un-life exist. We coexist. I do not see problems. - Emily
(Note: Each of the above sentences followed user queries that, for the sake of continuity, have been omitted here.)
Emily Howell is a computer
program created by David Cope during the 1990s. Emily consists of an
interactive interface that allows both musical and language communication. By
encouraging and discouraging the program, Cope attempts to "teach"
it to compose music more to his liking. The program uses only the output of a
previous composing program called Experiments in Musical Intelligence (Emmy)
as a source database for its musical choices. A full desription of how Emily
works and the accompanying code see David Cope's "Computer Models of
Musical Creativity" (2005), MIT Press.
Dr Cope My name is Jenna Mattox,
and I am a freshman at Nazareth College of Rochester. I just finished reading
your book, "Computer Models of Musical Creativity" and I am
absolutely stunned at how fascinated I was by the subject matter. I find it
rather ironic that I enjoyed the book as much as I did; I was intending on
becoming a music educator until I realized it was most certainly not for me.
Instead, I intend on pursuing computer science and reading this book has
opened a world of interest for me in blending my love of music with that of
computers. I first heard about Emily Howell through an article featured on
Ars Technica. (http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/09/virtual-composer-makes-beautiful-musicand-stirs-controversy.ars)
Since then, I checked "Computer Models of Musical Creativity" out
of the library and read it. The quote featured at the bottom of the Ars
Technica article sums up my feelings about reading the entire book, that
computers and music are linked without any doubt. Many of my friends within
the music department at Nazareth were appalled that this technology existed.
I however kept reading. The composition process is like that of writing a program,
and both force me to think similarly to the other process. I commend you for
challenging long-held ideas about computers and their abilities to be
creative entities when given the proper tools. Neuroscience has shown that
music encompasses both the "logical" and "creative" sides
of the brain; how different is that from a computer with the proper
programming? After all, computers were created by humans. This book has been
partly inspirational to me in my decision to switch from music education to
computer science, because it made me realize that music and computer
programming are one in the same, at a base level. Analytical thought and
problem solving skills are needed to compose as well as create programs.
Thank you very much for your insightful book, and I wish you the very best
with Emily Howell. I plan on listening to those compositions at some point.
Music shouldn't be about who created it, but the emotions and passion it can
inspire. Music is still music, regardless of who or what created it. Thank
you. Sincerely, Jenna Mattox Nazareth College of Rochester
From Darkness, Light (Opus 1): Two Pianos 20:57.
Shadow Worlds (Opus 2): Three Pianos 20:01.
Land of Stone (Opus 3): Chamber Orchestra17:14.
From the Willow's Keep (Opus 4): Tenor and Chamber Orchestra (16:00).
Prescience (Opus 5): Chamber Orchestra (15:30).
Spacetime (Opus 6): Orchestra (24:24).